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Red Sox minor league roundup: Xander Bogaerts rebounds, Austin Maddox shows promise

04.17.13 at 10:14 am ET
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A quick look at the action in the Red Sox system on Tuesday…

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-6 LOSS VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)

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David Ortiz, after being scratched on Sunday due to illness and Monday with soreness in his left heel, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and grounded into a double play in his third rehab game with the PawSox. He’s now 3-for-11 with three singles in his rehab assignment.

– Outfielder Mitch Maier went 3-for-3 with a walk, and in three games since being activated from the DL, he’s 5-for-11 with two walks and a homer. The 30-year-old’s strong impression in spring training coupled with the ability to play all three outfield positions could make him an outfield depth consideration for the big league roster if the Sox have an outfield need as the season progresses.

Bryce Brentz snapped a three-game, 0-for-11 stretch by going 2-for-5. It was his third multi-hit game of the year. An early concern related to his approach: Brentz has 12 strikeouts and just one walk in 50 plate appearances.

– Left-hander Chris Hernandez permitted a career high seven runs, though just three were earned. In five innings, he allowed a pair of homers among his six hits, walked just one and struck out four while also getting eight groundball outs. Still, the 24-year-old has struggled with pitch efficiency to date, something that continued in an outing in which he required 97 pitches to navigate five innings.

– Reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith tossed two more scoreless innings, and the left-hander has now pitched 7 2/3 innings while allowing one run on three hits this year. Lefties are 0-for-9 against him.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-3 LOSS AT BINGHAMTON (METS)

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Xander Bogaerts, who entered the game amidst a 1-for-21 skid, went 3-for-4, with the three hits representing a season high. All three of the hits were singles, as the 20-year-old continues his pursuit of his first extra-base hit of the year.

– Left-hander Drake Britton permitted three runs in five innings, but of greater significance was the fact that he continues to throw strikes and get swings and misses. Britton had seven strikeouts and just one walk in his five innings of work. After giving up 4.4 walks per nine innings over the last two seasons, Britton has 16 strikeouts and just three walks in his 14 innings of work this year in Portland.

– Part of the reason why Sean Coyle (currently raking in High-A Salem) started the year at the same level where he finished last year was because the Red Sox wanted to give playing time to Heiker Meneses and Derrik Gibson in Double-A. Meneses, who went 1-for-4 with a homer on Monday, is making the most of it in the early going, hitting .294 with a .314 OBP, two homers and a .500 slugging mark in eight games.

In 2011, Meneses — at 19 — made an interesting charge across three levels in the Sox system, hitting .295/.363/.400 in Greenville, Salem and Portland. He struggled in 2012, hitting a combined .247/.302/.342 while opening the year back in Portland and eventually moving back to Salem, but given his age, Meneses still has time to build his credentials as a future big leaguer if he can prove that his 2011 performance was not an outlier.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 3-2 LOSS (12 INNINGS) VS. POTOMAC (NATIONALS)

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– Third baseman Garin Cecchini went 0-for-4 with a walk as his seven-game hitting streak came to an end. He was also caught stealing for the fourth time this year. A year ago, he stole 39 bases before getting caught for the fourth time on August 9.

– Though he permitted seven baserunners (five hits — a double and four singles — and two walks) in just four innings of work, left-hander Miguel Pena minimized damage and allowed just one run.

– For the third straight game, shortstop Deven Marrero walked twice. Both walks came against left-handers, continuing Marrero’s early standout performance against southpaws. The 2012 first-rounder is hitting .429 with a .529 OBP and .786 slugging mark in 17 plate appearances against lefties to this point.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 8-3 LOSS VS. WEST VIRGINIA (PIRATES)

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– Given that he was a second-round draft pick who pitched for one of the most prominent baseball programs (University of Florida) in the country, it might have been natural to expect Austin Maddox to dominate out of the gate against younger and less experienced opponents. He has yet to do that. Still, given that he’s adapting from the role of college closer to the rotation and the five-day routine between starts, perhaps some growing pains should be expected.

That being the case, Tuesday represented a fairly promising step forward for the 21-year-old. Maddox had his best start of the young season, working into the sixth inning, tossing 5 1/3 frames while allowing three runs on six hits (all singles), striking out five, walking just one and getting eight groundball outs. Two of the three runs with which he was charged scored after he left the game. Maddox was efficient and effective while in the game, throwing 48 of 70 pitches (69 percent) for strikes.

Mike Miller went 2-for-4 with a double, his fifth multi-hit game in nine contests this year. The 23-year-old who was taken as a college senior out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo last year is hitting .467 with a .500 OBP.

– Left-hander Franklin Morales will make a rehab start for Greenville on Wednesday.

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